As a photographer, I have two clearly defined obligations every time someone hires me to click my shutter button. #1-I have an obligation to implore every ounce of knowledge I have about photography and put it to go use making their portraits. #2-After the shutter button has been pressed, I then have to exercise everything I know about post processing to make those portraits look the absolute best that they can.
When images are straight out of the camera (SOOC), they are dull, flat and well… boring. I would never dream of turning over work to clients that is straight out of the camera. I have turned down paying jobs that have asked me to do this. I don’t ever want to give anyone reason to think that is a good representation of my work. Here’s an example. The image on the left is SOOC.
In the video below, you will see that I:
- Smooth out bumpy clothing. Between poses, clothing has a tendency to become bunched up or bumpy and this is not flattering. An image can be made better simply by smoothing out this bumpy clothing. I use this same technique to make body parts appear slimmer and thinner, and believe it or not, I use it on thin people just the same as I do on curvier people.
- Redness or discoloration. Men have a tendency to photograph very red in the face. If someone is a tad too red, I use Photoshop to eliminate the red hues in certain parts of the photograph. Color casts can also occur if you’re near a colored object—like a red car, or a yellow-bricked building.
- Dark circles under eyes. Everyone, even toddlers, has dark circles under their eyes. I always take special care to eliminate or at least lighten these cirlces. This always makes my subjects appear younger, energized and refreshed.
- Sharpening. Eyes are what gets my attention when I look at a photograph. So, I take special care to sharpen and brighten them up in all my closeups to better their chances at making a connection with the viewer. I sharpen all the women’s hair, eyebrows, teeth, jewelry, and other fine details in the photograph as well.
Watch the video to see me work!
You will not receive this sort of attention to detail from value photographers, like Sears and Wal-Mart. As far as hiring an independent photographer, your chances are 50/50 that your images will receive quality post processing. Buyer be warned! Not all post processing is quality post processing!
Each portrait image I take receives this special attention. I always remove any distracting elements from the background. It’s not shown in the video, but I also make adjustments to create contrast, vibrance and increase the depth of the photo. This removes all the flatness that the camera leaves behind. I generally spend five to ten minutes on each finalized photo from the portrait session. For reference, if your photo shoot lasts one hour, it will take me another three to four hours to post process the session—sometimes even longer. My aim is NOT to make an exact replica of a moment in time, but to create a piece of art that will hang on your wall.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co. in 2010 and I am one of the premier San Antonio wedding photographers who is available for local and destination weddings. In addition to wedding photography, I also specialize in high school seniors and family portraits in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. I am a professional photographer who enjoys documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I enjoy watching my daughter play softball, hiking, cycling and listening to Elvis!